Editors' pick

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial photo
Hillery Smith Garrison - Associated Press

Editorial Review

The Basics: Because it ended in armistice instead of victory, the Korean War has been called the "forgotten war." The evocative Korean War Veterans Memorial serves as a reminder that many Americans sacrificed their lives and endured enormous hardship during the conflict.

Visitor Experience: The memorial's most striking feature is the field of 19 stainless-steel statues of servicemen. The seven-foot-tall figures appear to be crossing troublesome terrain while laden with backpacks, heavy boots, rifles, radios, helmets and ponchos. In an effort to illustrate the wide variety of people who served, Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force soldiers are represented, as are people of different races.

A memorial pool on the site honors those who lost their lives in the conflict. A mural wall with etchings of photographs from the Korean War gives the memorial a historical context. Like many of the Mall's memorials, this one feels especially solemn at night.

Background: Congress authorized the memorial in 1986 and it was officially dedicated on July 27, 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice. Cooper-Lecky Architects of Washington executed the project. Frank Gaylord sculpted the statues and Louis Nelson designed the mural wall.

By Metro: From Foggy Bottom Metro stop, walk southbound on 23rd St. to Lincoln Memorial, turn left on the far side of Refelecting Pool.
By car: Parking on the Mall is often difficult, but your best bet is street parking along the river on Ohio Drive.

(Updated March 9, 2012)